My Most Embarrassing Travel Day Ever

I pride myself in airport etiquette. Airports and airplanes are my life. At least it feels that way based on the amount of time I spend in them.

Unfortunately some days I can’t help but beat myself up over being a complete and total f&cking idiot. Usually I’m embarrassed if I make one mistake at an airport, since I’m in my “element” when flying. Unfortunately on Monday I had one of those travel days that felt like an out of body experience.

Let me start by saying that over the past two weeks I’ve collectively undergone 16 hours of delays. And that’s in the midst of my busiest two travel weeks of the year, where I’m flying 45,000 miles and have lots of stuff to attend to on the ground as well. I’m tired, and perhaps that played into this…

Travel

On Monday I was flying from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to San Francisco. On one hand I felt ridiculous booking that routing to begin with. Taking over four hours to fly a few hundred miles is almost unjustifiable, but with Gogo inflight internet there’s not actually that much lost productivity for me.

Vegas-San-Francisco

Unfortunately everything that could have gone wrong did. And not just that, but I only made it worse.

large

My day started off great, as I visited the American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport, which was lovely. I arrived at around 12PM for my 3:45PM departure to Los Angeles, so I could have lunch and get some work done (frankly I was just tired of waiting in line at places in Las Vegas).

Amex-Centurion-Lounge-Las-Vegas-23

Then my Los Angeles to Las Vegas flight posted a delay, and it was clear that the flight wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon.

Vegas-Flash-Flood

What followed was a series of stupid-as-heck mistakes on my part:

Getting rebooked on a later flight

As soon as I saw my flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles was delayed, I called the Executive Platinum desk to have them rebook me on a later Los Angeles to San Francisco flight. My connection was tight to begin with, and I figured getting rebooked on a later flight was better than nothing.

Once the change was made I logged in online, only to realize that my originally delayed Las Vegas to Los Angeles plane was also scheduled to operate my Los Angeles to San Francisco flight. So I was screwing myself over when I’d really be flying the same plane the whole way. Crap!

Forgetting to standby for another flight

After sufficiently beating myself up over my first mistake, I finally got back to work. Since there was weather in Las Vegas I assumed all flights to Los Angeles would be equally delayed. I randomly checked the flight status for my flight to Los Angeles and noticed that there was another American flight originally scheduled to depart later that was departing shortly to Los Angeles.

American-Delay-1

American-Delay-3

I’m an idiot, because I waited so long that they were no longer taking standby passengers by the time I got to the gate. I’ve flown four million miles, how can I be so stupid as to not even check if there was another option?

My flight departed 4.5 hours late, and it was uneventful. I went to the Admirals Club upon landing and had them rebook me on the US Airways flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It was scheduled for 10PM, but had been delayed until 11:45, so was my only option for getting to San Francisco that night.

Delay

I took a bus to the wrong terminal

After the awesome Admirals Club agent rebooked me I headed to gate 44, which is where the buses to other terminals leave from. There are buses to the American Eagle, Qantas, and US Airways terminals. I showed the contract worker my boarding pass, and she pointed me onto the bus, which I took to the US Airways terminal.

Once there, I tried to find the gate for my flight to San Francisco. I couldn’t find it, so eventually asked a US Airways agent. “Oh, you’re in the wrong place, you need to go to the American Eagle terminal.”

Crap — I had no clue US Airways Express left from the American Eagle terminal and not the US Airways terminal.

Beyond that, do you have any clue how dumb I felt showing up at the wrong damn terminal?!? That’s probably even more embarrassing than asking if you’re supposed to take your shoes off at a TSA checkpoint.

I listened to an agent that gave me bad info

I said to the agent “okay, so I can take the bus back to the American terminal, right?” “Oh well you could, honey, but it will be much faster if you leave security and walk there instead.”

I blindly listened. So I left security, walked past Tom Bradley International Terminal and to Terminal 4. It was a good 15 minute walk, and that’s at a German walking pace.

At that point I made it to the Terminal 4 security checkpoint, only to realize…

I didn’t have Pre-Check anymore

Pre-Check is the greatest thing to happen to domestic travel in a long time, though I guess because I was rebooked, Pre-Check was somehow taken off my itinerary. Late at night there’s not even an elite line, so I spent over 20 minutes in line waiting to clear security.

Hell, I was so unfamiliar with the concept of taking my shoes off that I actually walked in my socks for about 50 feet before I realized I left my shoes at the security checkpoint. FML.

Almost missing my flight due to incompetence

The above made me feel pretty freaking stupid, though this is the point where I started to get pissed.

It was 11PM and my flight to San Francisco was scheduled for 11:45PM. So I went back to gate 44 where the shuttle to the American Eagle terminal departs from. The conversation between me and the “G2” agent (that’s the contract company that handles some ground services) went something like this (and I should note that this is after I called her over, because she was too busy sitting down and texting to acknowledge me):

Me: “When is the next shuttle to the American Eagle terminal?”
Agent: “Oh I don’t know, they may have stopped running.”
Me: “Well I have a flight leaving from there in 45 minutes.”
Agent: “Usually flights aren’t that late. Did your connecting flight just land?”
Me: “A while ago.”
Agent: “Well why didn’t you go earlier?”
Me: “Funny story. I was here about an hour ago and showed you my boarding pass, and you sent me on the bus to the US Airways terminal. So I went there, and then they told me to leave security to get back to this terminal, so I walked from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4 via Tom Bradley Terminal, then waited in the security line, and now am back here.”
Agent: “I put you on the wrong bus? No I didn’t. Did you guys send him on the wrong bus?” [she said the last part as she looks at the two Qantas agents there]
Me: “No, you did, but that really doesn’t matter. I need a bus to the American Eagle terminal, please, or I’ll miss my flight.”

She walked away to go sit in the corner and text again, and after maybe 10 minutes I saw an American Eagle bus on the tarmac waiting.

Me: “Excuse me, it looks like the American Eagle bus is here.”
Agent: “Well I can’t do anything. There’s not an American Eagle agent on duty here, and technically I can’t let you out unless there is one.”
Me: “So why am I even waiting if I can’t board a bus even if it pulls right up?”
Agent: “Well I don’t know, that’s up to you. I don’t work for them.”
Me: “You have a walkie talkie, presumably there’s someone on the other end you could radio to either get an American Eagle agent here or have the bus wait, no?”
Agent: “I don’t work for them.”
Me: “Seriously? Your job is to facilitate people being transported from one terminal to another, so maybe you could actually try and help?”

Real-Housewives

At this point I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I went up to an American agent at the gate across from the bus center.

I don’t often pull the “I have status” card, but at this point there were less than 20 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave (meaning the door was scheduled to close in 10 minutes), so I said “Excuse me, I realize this isn’t your problem but I’m hoping you can help. I’m an Executive Platinum and I’m booked on a US Airways flight out of the American Eagle terminal, and I’ve been waiting for 25 minutes for a bus and there’s no one empowered to do anything. There’s a G2 agent who’s unhelpful, and not an American Eagle agent on duty.”

The agent muttered some words about the G2 agents and then made a phone call which started with “I have an Executive Platinum who…” so I’m guessing pulling the status card was the right move. Within a couple of minutes an American agent showed up at gate 44, and miraculously the bus finally left to take me to the American Eagle terminal.

During the bus ride the American Eagle terminal was paging the bus driver to make sure I was the missing passenger he had aboard, and when I arrived at the American Eagle terminal I felt like I was finishing a marathon, as there were a handful of agents there cheering me on and saying “run, run, run!”

Fortunately the flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco was lovely, despite being operated by a nasty US Airways Mesa CRJ900. As I boarded the flight attendant said “you should feel special Benjamin, we were waiting for you.” I was the only passenger in first class (well, before they filled the cabin for weight and balance reasons), and the crew was excellent with serving drinks.

US-Airways-First-Class

Bottom line

I’m not proud of the level of travel stupidity I displayed on Monday. I was beating myself up over my first mistake, but a handful of mistakes in I was ready to cry.

Have you ever just had an embarrassingly bad travel day?

Comments

  1. Don’t feel bad. Once, during a trip, I showed up to the airport only to find I’d booked my flight for the next day. I was short on time and so had to spend an exorbitant amount just to go from LGW-BHD that day. Not my finest hour.

  2. My first time using trains in Europe. I had booked a ticket from Paris to Brussels on Thalys with an overnight before continuing on to Amsterdam before I left the USA. There was a series of unfortunate events. I was departing Gare du Nord and was there in plenty of time. But, I couldn’t get my tickets from the kiosk so I had to go to the ticketing counter. I was just going to get the tickets to both legs of the journey right there in Paris so I didn’t have to deal with another kiosk. But I waited. And I waited. And I waited. The slowest line I think I’ve ever been in. It wasn’t that long, it just never moved. Time kept ticking and ticking and finally, with just a few minutes to spare I get to the ticket agent who looks at my itinerary and her yes bug out and she says…wow, your train is leaving in about 2 minutes. I grab the ticket to Brussels, but didn’t have time to have her print the ticket from Brussels to Amsterdam the next day.

    No big deal, I think. I’m on Thalys both legs of it so I’ll just pick it up tomorrow morning in Brussels. Huge mistake. I made sure to show up super early in Brussels considering how close things were cut in Paris. Turns out, because I had booked through SNCF in France, I had to collect all tickets in France. The SNCB in Belgium didn’t have access to my reservation. But, they gave me directions to find a ticket office at a mall that could help a short subway ride away, so I ran down there, it was closed of course. I went back to the train station, not particularly happy at this point, and was told nothing could be done. So, I bought a new ticket to Amsterdam.

    I ended up being reimbursed after a strongly worded email whereby I told someone they ought to be horsewhipped. I view it as a good learning experience, and shake my head at my general ignorance for how the train system works. I just assumed it was similar to airlines, as if I had a flight from Paris to Amsterdam with a stopover in Brussels.

  3. Why didn’t you just fly LAS-DFW-HKG, instead of bothering with the mess of unnecessary connections, and possible delays by going through LAX and SFO.

  4. @ RDP — Because I booked it months ago when the route was first announced, and wasn’t sure where I’d be. The Vegas trip was last minute, so changing my ticket to Hong Kong would have been astronomically expensive.

  5. When it rains, it pours Lucky! That’s a lesson you’ll never forget. One time, my sister was ready at the airport to check in for her flight from Jakarta to Denver, only to be told at the counter that her passport had expired. Here I was in Denver wanting to scream at her as soon as I found out.

  6. @ Ben — What lewis said…Why the f&^k do you need to fly 45,000 miles in two weeks? That is just plain stupid, and this is coming from someone almost as insane as you…

  7. @ mark — Based on how much you negatively comment, here’s an idea for how you can get two hours of your day back. Stop reading. 😉

  8. @ Susan — It was dirty and there were scratches everywhere. They don’t even begin to compare to the Embraers that US Airways regional airlines operate.

  9. I once read a story about a guy who thought it would be socially acceptable to wear the First Class PJs from his flight to the lounge. Now that’s embarrassing! 😉

  10. The 20 minute wait for security is the one that takes the cake here. What a time for stewing.

    But not so embarrassing in the public sense. Only time you inconvenienced others was being the last one on that delayed LAX-SFO segment.

  11. Simple fatigue………..in Army Ranger school candidates are kept without sleep and food and are put in leadership positions to see if they can operate under extreme conditions and then sharpshoot them over any error in judgment and leadership………..you are “Lucky” the conditions in the airport are not as harsh and “Lucky” that you have the intellectual skills to “after action” your day so the next one can be better and that your readers will learn from your sacrifices……….mission accomplished……….

  12. We were driving all across the South Island of New Zealand, and needed to get back to Queenstown in time for our noon flight on JetStar. We were hoping to get as close to Queenstown as possible the night before to camp and ensure a short drive the next day. As it turns out, there was a longstanding road closure between Haast and Queenstown between dusk and dawn, and we realized this at sunset. This meant we’d have to drive somewhere between 2 or 3 hours at least if we wanted to get back into Queenstown the next day. We ended up in a campsite about 4 hours outside of Queenstown.

    We woke up before dawn to begin our drive into Queenstown. As I was stowing some stuff, I came across our itinerary, at which point I read that our flight departed at 2pm, not noon, and I was excited that we could leisurely drive back to Queenstown and then enjoy lunch and some beers on the wharf once we got back into town.

    So we had lunch, had a few beers, and took some time to write a postcard to ourselves. We got back to our van and I pulled out our itinerary so that we’d have it handy when we got to the airport. I stared in shock as I realized I had misread it that morning — our flight really did leave at noon. It was currently 11:40.

    We frantically drove back towards the airport and watched our aircraft take off right on time from the highway. It turns out it was the last JetStar flight of the day (this was the only day of the week where JetStar didn’t offer a 4:00 flight), so our money was lost. We ended up buying (somewhat reasonable) one-way tickets on Air NZ, and drank as much New Zealand wine in the lounge as we possibly could have. We felt better.

    In retrospect, the $300 we spent on new flights was absolutely worth spending another gorgeous autumn afternoon in Queenstown. But it was still a stupid mistake.

  13. I know how to travel with reasonable precision, but even though I’ve flown in and out of Chicago numerous times over the years I still managed to once sit at the gate for a flight to Chicago, try to board and be denied because it was for Midway while my flight to O Hare had closed the door 5 minutes earlier just 2 gates over. Was a fun 3 hour wait for the next one.

  14. I had an abbreviated version of this story this summer in Paris. We (all 8 of us) were taking the overnight train from Paris to Berlin. We hired Uber x 2 to take us from the PHV to Gare du Nord. I went in the first car to make sure that all was in order. Second Uber took forever to show up, he was a block from where he was supposed to be, so time was beginning to be a concern. Finally got comfortable that they would make it on time, so went in to make sure that we knew where to go once they arrived. Couldn’t find any trace of our train! Checked the tickets, discovered that we were supposed to at Gare de l’Est! At this point, panic set in. Went back out to where two of my children and my mother-in-law (!) waited. Wife, father-in-law, and two more kids were just getting out of their Uber car. Bundled them back in and sent them on their way. Tried to get a cab. Got everyone into the first cab, told the driver to take us to Gare de l’Est, he told us to get out, so we all pile back out and drag all our luggage back out. He gestures vaguely in the general direction of the taxi stand (I think) so off I go. Tell the next driver where I want to go, he also says no and directs us further in the same direction, so I continue on the same direction, but rapidly run out of cabs, so turn back. Finally find a cab driver who will take us where we want to go! He is trying to explain something but I can’t figure it out until half way through the cab ride, when he hits on a French word I know, foot! Turns out that I had spent fifteen minutes finding a cab and another 15 in a cab to travel to a train station that was about a 5 minute walk away! Still made our train with 10 minutes to spare, though. Just a little embarrassing in front of the in laws!

  15. Made the rooky mistake while checking in at 5am with my brother, the girl at the desk put my baording pass in my bro’s passport and visa versa. Flying BOO-OSL-FRA-SFO, kt was only in a long queue in FRA that i realised thst my passport was in the arctic circle, and I was wanting to get on a plane from Germany to the US. Thst was a moment of feeling foolish.

  16. Realizing you forgot to take in to account the time from an entire leg of a train ride to estimate your arrival time in Japan. Then having to call a ryokan from the train and in your best tour book Japanese explain that you are going to be 2 hours late. Then seeing that they kept the best English speaking hostess there just to serve you dinner and upgraded you to the room from the travel booklet.

  17. hey bud, dont beat yourself up. happens to the best of us. also we appreciate all the hard work you put in and for all the takeaways/learning opportunities/nuances we get from your blog esp relating to our fav hobby. but perhaps this is a sign that this aint a viable ‘career’ long term? I mean last yr I did a trip to the other side of the world and back (with a few stopovers along the way) and ended up clocking some 25k miles in about 9-10 days… but I was exhausted, completely spent and was like ‘I’m never flying again’ LOL much like after a bad hangover: ‘I’m never drinking again’ … and yes this was premium travel that too in international J & F. I mean obv I didnt stop flying and just did another 15k over the course of 5 days cpl wks ago but I’ve been learning my limits/breaking point I guess.

    anyways, I still dont understand — you didnt wanna miss your DFW-HKG flight booked in advance and thats fine. but why go the long way around to get to DFW? like you said you felt ridiculous booking it cause there are multiple, direct flights from LAS to DFW during the day, on AA equipment no less. so you wouldnt have even been subjected to the ‘nasty’ US CRJs or any RJs for that matter on that route. was there some special deal or fare for doing this? were you just trying to accumulate EQMs for EXP next yr? otherwise I dont understand why anyone would put themselves thru the torture of CRJ travel even upfront.

    lastly, you said the plane that you flew from LAS to LAX was scheduled to fly LAX to SFO. so why didnt you just call the EXP line and have them book you back on your original itinerary? so that you wouldnt have to run all over the place to find your next ‘connecting’ flight.

  18. ROFL…” I felt like I was finishing a marathon, as there were a handful of agents there cheering me on and saying “run, run, run!””

  19. The suggestion from the US agent to walk from T3 to T4 wasn’t entirely bad. You mentioned you walked past TBIT, the trick is you cut straight across the parking garage instead of going around the horse-shoe. It saves a good 5-10 minutes of walking time.

  20. LAX and listening and taking advice from people who work there and should know: I got on the shuttle bus that travels around the oval connecting all the terminals. I first asked the driver, is this way to get to the Bradley terminal. She said yes and to get on board. 20 minutes later we ended up 200 feet from where we started as we went all the way around the oval. We could have just turned left before we got on the bus and walked a couple of minutes. I felt really dumb at the time. From then on, I always study the airport layout before arriving there.

  21. Flying Auckland to Melbourne NZ123.

    1. Almost forgetting to take out my cellphone and putting it into the tray before going through security.
    2. Massive anxiety attack at the gate lounge.
    3. Sister trying to make me feel better by sacrificing her cookie.
    4. Fact that previous flight I went on to Adelaide, I was fine.

  22. While it sucked, I don’t think you should be very embarrassed. If anything, AA/US should be embarrassed because if they are able to trip *you* up, think of how many thousands of people are being screwed daily due to their poor communication and poor employees. In this case, you got where you needed to be in the end. Sometimes it’s good to make stupid mistakes because then you’ll remember and avoid them when it really matters. And having bad days makes it that much better when everything goes right, not by luck but by skill. My best travel day ever was when I recovered from an irrops situation and made it on time to a concert I was looking forward to, realizing that 99% of travellers wouldn’t have had the knowledge and experience to be able to pull off what I did.

  23. OMG! I’m sorry to have laughed at this entire snowballing story, but it was hilarious! I’m glad you made it on your flight. On a side note, I did LAS, PSP, SFO once, because it was the only way to get there. The flight attended asked me, so where are you off to? I replied, San Fran and she dropped her head and said oh. And walked away…le sigh.

  24. Considering how you’ve had such bad luck in the past two week with delays… after you made a post about how often your on time, maybe you should make a post about how your planes are never on time and your ‘bad juju’ will reverse lol.

  25. I booked a ticket in my married name and only brought my passport with my maiden name to the airport. Wrong ID combined with 9/11 = intense feel up before 6am and my Starbucks! Sorry for your rough day.. But loving that you may just be cranky enough to tell-off the blog trolls! Props to you for standing up!

  26. A few dumb ones. First, going on a vacation and had a large suitcase I needed to check. I get to the counter and realize I forgot my ID. No big deal for security, but the ticket agent would NOT let me check the bag without ID, no matter how much I pleaded. It was about 2 hours before my flight, so I had no option other than to take the shuttle back to long-term parking; do the 40 minute drive home in 30; grab my ID and go back to LT parking; shuttle back to the terminal and barely made it in time to check the bag. I literally had 3 minutes before the checked baggage cutoff.

    In Puerto Rico, was having lunch on the beach with a lunch contact before heading back to SJU for my flight home. Unfortunately, couldn’t check in online, so we were rushing after taking a little too much time. Starting checking in at the kiosk and got to the very end when it said to see a rep. Turned out I had gone past the check-in cutoff time between the time I started and got to the end. ARGH! US agent was reluctant, but checked me in manually after I explained my side of the story. Got to security and it was jam packed. No way I would’ve made my flight. Fortunately, the work contact is employed at TSA (admin function, not front line), so she said something in Spanish to get me to the head of the line. She explained later that she told them I was an important government representative from DC, lol.

    Finally, in Munich, I took my time at the lounge and duty free before sauntering off to my flight back to ORD. Glanced at the board and saw an ORD flight at some gate (can’t recall). Walked over, went through passport control and security, and arrived at the gate. Scanned my BP and it beeped at me. GA looks at it and told me I was at the wrong gate. This is US, you need to go to UA, literally at the other end of the very long terminal. Oy. I started running (fortunately had checked my suitcase in PRG) and made it there after what seemed like at least 1km. Breathless and sweaty at PP control, and I got the one inefficient German checking my PP. Fortunately flew through security and got on board for business class as they were announcing group 5. Turns out the US flight scheduled departure was within a few minutes of my flight and the US flight was going to ORD via PHL. The board flipped back and forth between PHL and ORD as the destination, so I must have glanced when it was on ORD. DUMB.

  27. Great to read a story like this and it’s probably good for you to have a more ‘normal traveler’ kind of experience. Now you should hire a family to tow through the airport to really get a hectic experience!

  28. Ben – I’m impressed at your bottomless well of patience. I would have went all nasty on that G2 woman after the day you went through, tired and fed up.

  29. Let me just say this: I FEEL FOR YOU! I had a similar incident that happened two years ago at LGA, where I was scheduled to fly to Boston on AA. When I reached the airport, I had about 30 minutes to spare. For some reason, I thought I was at the wrong terminal building, so an agent that checked my boarding pass let me board the bus that ended up going to the international terminal. You can imagine how infuriated I was, given that I was running on a fever and loading myself on Iboprofen.

    The bus moved painfully slow and the driver communicated on his walkie-talkie about my situation to the gate agent. As the bus pulled over to the original terminal I was at, I sprinted to the gate, only to find out that they had closed the gate. Even the driver’s attempt to hold the gate for me was futile. I explained my situation, informing them that the bus agent gave me the wrong information and let me board the bus to the wrong terminal.

    This resulted in a two-hour delay, and so I had to miss my evening events at the conference for that day. It sucked and on top of it, I was physically not feeling the greatest.

  30. Reading this, I kept thinking “this sounds like something that happens to me not Ben” – I’ve had two travel meltdowns in the lobby of the Westin Capetown and the former Sheraton Perth. I was more than exhausted with a myriad of travel mishaps along the way that were one on top of the other and would have tested even the most experienced traveler. When I could take no more b/c no one was helping b/c “it wasn’t their job” – I lost it (crying which I never do) which freaked folks out and then everyone was helping. I also had zero mobile phone coverage both times for days due to a carrier issue so I couldn’t call anyone to help or use internet – I was totally dependent on others and vulnerable – two times in my twenty years of solo travel where I wished I had someone with me. When things like this happen, I give myself a “travel timeout”, clear my schedule and go to the spa to relax and recharge

  31. Doesn’t the TSA randomly disqualify you from Pre-Check on occasional legs for security purposes? If that’s the case (and it’s happened to me), I’m surprised it hasn’t happened to you more often!

    In the meantime, how did you walk 50 feet in your socks without realizing it? Haha.

  32. My most embarrassing travel mistake was going from Wellington to Brisbane after my study abroad program finished. I thought that I had booked my flight for 4/5 or April 5th to my American eyes. Get to the check in counter…. “Oh no, honey, your flight is on May 4th.” I had to pay an extra 700 NZD to switch. Ugh!

  33. A few years ago I was spending the Xmas holidays in Belize with my family and planned to go to NYC for New Years. I had just got a new Blackberry as a present that year and was being “sophisticated” and programming my flight times into the electronic calendar. I programmed the flight times into my calendar here in Pacific Time and the calendar automatically updated the “meeting” time to reflect Central Time in Belize. Needless to say, I wound up showing up two hours late for the flight and completely missed it, which was just in time to see them literally closing the airport in Belize for the night. I should have been tipped off when my driver from the hotel asked for my flight time and said, “I don’t think American has a flight at that time, but I’ll take you to the airport.” Long story short, wound up going out the next day and made New Years Eve by 15 mins!

  34. I’m pretty sure Ben isn’t old enough to be pre any Madonna (singer or saint). The term you’re looking for is “prima donna” literally meaning first lady, referring to the leading lady of an opera or theater company.

  35. I think the biggest takeaway here is how much of a mess the current AA/US operation at LAX is, yikes! Thanks for sharing, it happens to the best of us!

  36. At least you made it on the plane so it all ended well 🙂

    My SEA-IAH flight about a week ago was so early (and I stayed up late due to a concert & packing), I didn’t grab a coffee and got totally confused by seat designations on the UA plane (FE) so I ended up seating in E seat even though I knew I had a window seat. Was super-embarrassing when the proper owner of the seat showed up. He was a good sport though and we had a good chat once I’d woken up completely.

  37. Have you ever just had an embarrassingly bad travel day? Sure I have. Haven’t we all.

    Many years ago, I wanted to get from Prague to Berlin on a late departure but I couldn’t find the station. This was in the 90’s and the stations were pretty dark and a bit further out. I ran and asked around but the locals couldn’t really understand what I wanted, so I missed my ride out. The next departure would be on the following day. It was close to midnight and hotels were fully booked, so I ended up spending the night at a place that I thought would be safe and where I wouldn’t look too much out of place: I went to the casino!

  38. Sorry to hear you had a rough day. But seriously, don’t be too hard on yourself. As far as blog posts go, this kind of thing is much more interesting & informative to me than a simple review of yet another hotel or airport lounge. Rock on.

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